Wish List

Rev. 2003-01-23, -07-14, -10-15, 2006-11-15, 2007-05-05, -06-29, 2016-06-17

I used work in a hardware store and when people ask repeatedly for things that I can't find,

Or I try to find feedback and can't inject my good (of course) ideas

I get frustrated.

Thus this Hardware Wish List

and this Google Earth Wish List

and this Graphics Search Wish List

Graphics Search Wish List

It is likely in the near future that image searching will be available so that you can outline a portion of a picture like a face or a rose or select an image pattern - like a strong diagonal - and it will find all the pictures in storage that match within certain tolerances, which you will be able to pick from examples.  2007-05-06

Among the modes available might be:
  A tolerance bar showing the extreme results of a setting - for example, if reducing detail of selection, the setting image shows how little detail is involved - down to an outline.
   If a color range is selected, the setting image might show the reddest and the bluest that are to be looked for.
   If a scaling range is selected, the frame might show the largest and smallest limits of the head or bridge with respect to the frame.
  When images are found, it should not only be possible to say "More Like This" to focus the search, but also to have the results of the various search criteria - one pair might show high and low luminosity, another RBG selection,  another color field patterns, another outlines.  The searcher wouldn't have to know the parameters, just select "More Closer to This"
  It would also be nice if small 3D models could be provided so the program "knows" that the front and side views of a person's head are related and while side views of most fighters or airliners are similar, top views are very different, while top views of swept wing aircraft may be similar but side views of fighters, bombers, airliners, etc. are different.  Front views of cars are often similar while side views vary considerably.   2007-05-06


Google Earth Wishlist
Be able to overlay one location to another
Be able to view historical images in place
Be able to move historical images to other locations
Be able to view historical changes with time

Be able to view historical images in place
While there is a great deal of magic to fly to a place on earth and observe the location from above or at various angles, I would like to be able to view selected areas from the past where the data is available.  Thus if I was looking at London or Rome or New York and selected the history layer, outline boxes like the county boundaries would appear with a dated tag.  If I selected the tag an image of the city from an old map or older aerial photos would appear, BUT PROPERLY ALIGNED AND SIZED TO THE LOCATION so that old streets might cut through current buildings and old creeks flow down modern streets.  I would like a slider tool so that I could shift between the two views ranging from all historical to all modern and even choosing to make one a ghost or line image on the other.

Be able to view historical changes with time
Then the next step would be to be able to slide through history with a slider tool.  Where the data is available, showing historical changes of street layouts or river paths or shoreline changes would be a valuable education tool

Be able to overlay one location to another
For example, I would like to pick up a portion of London and move it to Dallas to see how they compare.  Or take Rhode Island and move it to the county in Texas that is bigger than it.  The problem here is that most of the images are coordinated by Long.Lat. and as Google Earth travel is done, North has to be adjusted to the top of the screen, while the territory must be kept the same physical size - while 1 kilometer is the same all over the world, 1 degree of longitude in bigger at the equator than at any point north or south.

Be able to move historical images
Having gotten the historical images, it would be nice to move them also, as when historical (Shakespeare's) London where walking and horses are the norm is moved to Dallas, where cars expand distances greatly.

1. Plug in switch

GE makes a plug in switch for 2 prong cords.

GE 2 prong switch

People ask for the same thing for a three prong cord. Small, not a power strip.
I have decided that it is unlikely that one will be made, the device below can be used as a switch, it retails for about $18 and provides GFCI protection which is required in many cases.

Switch as plug in GFCI

A visitor, Carlos Albert Lacayo, enlightens me by pointing to a remote control switch with on-off buttons on the body  http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=0843&cpc=SCH about $4.50 in pairs

and also tells me about a water resistant outlet on a short cord http://www.shoptronics.com/wirecopoouou.html that loses the ability to do local on-off and embarrasses me slightly because this reminds me that around the house I have several X-10 appliance switches, some of which (the ones with antenna) that have a push on/push off switch and cost more.  Both of these have the disadvantage of not allowing two at a standard outlet (as is true of the GFCI) and the X-10 is distinctly not waterproof. 2007-05-25
Courtesy of an e-mail from D New, I have a couple of these things.  David alerted me that he had found them at Wal-Mart and even sent me the color image below of the card.  Before going to Wal-Mart today, I tried looking on line and got no responses to Handy Switch or the GE part number.  But at Wal-Mart, I found them in electrical.  Most were hiding, having been placed on the wrong peg or having 2 prong (above) in front of them.  They were $3.44, so I bought two. Scanned one package in B&W as shown.  Thanks, David. 2007-06-29

2. Lumiline Ends

Once the Lumiline bulb as considered the poor man's fluorescent. They are incandescent (a filament runs the length) and power is applied at both ends. Now it is the owner's wallet drainer. The GE bulbs cost $15-20 retail. GE still makes the bulbs in two lengths, 40 watt and 60 watt, clear and white. But Leviton, which used to make the snapon end caps stopped making them a couple of years ago. And Phillips, which made bulbs with the ends soldered on, stopped making those a while back. [Previously misspelled Lumaline]
Used or needed in restoration of vintage aircraft, jukeboxes, and "On Air" signs for radio use.

So, when we hear a tale of "the painter threw the ends out with the trash." or "My daughter didn't know we had to keep them." or "One broke"

Limiline End Cap Drawing

An alternative, that would keep people from having to rebuild the vent hoods these are used in, would be a bracket that would collect the power from the two small sockets the clips snap into and apply it to a fluorescent lamp. Neat would be a thin fluorescent fixture with the prongs on the back and a screw hole for mounting. [2007-09-21 Since this was written, much has been done to make small electronic ballasts smaller, so it is more feasible, although the market would not probably support development costs.  It would be nice if the replacement unit cost under the price of a bulb plus end cap (under $30) and even nicer if the bulb were replaceable.]

The guy who once sold the ends, minimum 2, at $10-$20 each,  no longer does so.

UPDATE 2007-09-21
Received today, hooray: "I spotted your hardware want list item regarding Lumiline end clips, and even though it's a few years old, I thought I'd point you towards the newly-available reproduction end clips:  [$9 each]
 In the interest of full disclosure, I was instrumental in getting these things into production. I happen to be Candlepower's chief engineer, and my grandfather's midcentury house is full of Lumliline lights, many of which needed caps. I work for a lighting company, we had spare capacity in one of our factories...and here they are.
Hope this helps,
Daniel J. Stern"
Latest link with 2 styles 2008-06-09

3. Plug in shut down timer

People have a great need for a timer that will run anywhere from 1/2 hour to 8 hours and shut down at the end, in a neat package with a cord and an outlet, for turning off coffee pots at work and battery chargers. While there are dozens of kitchen timers that bong at the end, and plug in table top timers that go on and off every 24 hours, nobody I can find makes a combination of the two. The best I can offer is a table top timer with the on timer prongs removed, so it shuts off once (or more) a day and must be turned on manually, which is not the most obvious thing for a casual user to interface with. It is easy to put a wall switch in an electrical box, but ugly.

4. Dimmer and Switch in the same unit.

People who have two switches (a dual toggle, or doggle as some people call it) one above the other want to replace it with a dimmer and a switch that control two things, a light dimmed and another light or a ceiling fan. Current dimmers are housed in such a big box that it is difficult to imagine squeezing one in a small space, but if one were to go the other way and add a switch at the bottom of a dimmer, it might work.  On the other hand, once the volume is taken up by the dimmer, there may not be enough volume to wire two circuits per the NEC space requirements in boxes. [2002-10]

5. Intermediate and Candelabra Sockets

While intermediate base light bulbs are getting fewer and fewer in kind (except for C-9 Christmas bulbs), it used to be possible to buy sockets in the style of the medium base brass used in standard lamps, and it used to be possible to buy enclosed sockets for the more common candelabra base (including C-7 1/2 Christmas bulbs) but I can't find those either. In either case, with a standard threaded mount (1/8" pipe as used in lamp making) to make a small lamp.
 Suggestions welcome.
American-De Rosa Lamparts advises me that their D2554 is an enclosed phenolic candelabra base.  Unfortunately, their site does not include a visual catalog, so I will have to look in a couple of days at the store. [2003-10-15]

6. Bed Raiser Cones

For the hardware store, I want a cone to raise a bed about 6" for the college community and for the people who want to store stuff under the bed. There are a number of places that offer these on the web, mostly for making it easier to care for people in bed (as follows). I can't find a wholesale source.  FOUND ONE!!!  A square version is are now available in brown or white from Elliott's Hardware, $15.99 for a box of 4, or $4 each (some people need only 2 or need 5), plus shipping & tax if in Texas. 2003-07

Bed risers from the internet

Bed Raiser Cones in England
Increase the height of a chair or bed so sitting down and standing up requires less effort. Cones have non-slip pad recessed into the top of the cone. Each cone supports up to 450 lbs. Chair cones are3.5" in height. Bed cones are 5.5" in height. Cones come in package of four.
Only $37.95 (not $49.00) item# SN-AA3302

Bed Riser from Vermont site

Bed Riser Cones Vermont Country Store

Bed Risers Create More Under-Bed Storage And Look Nice, Too
Raise your bed up a full 6" to give your bedroom a charming, old-fashioned feel and to create more storage space under your bed. Your dust ruffles will hang better, too. Use just two bed risers to elevate the head or foot of the bed to improve circulation so you sleep more comfortably. Rugged high-density risers hold any standard bed frame securely, so it won’t slip off the risers. Color is black.

Talking Instrument Interface

[This is the text of a message to Omega about their new unit www.omegasays.com http://www.omega.com/pptst/HHM2.html]  I am writing to complement you on your offering of the HHM2 talking digital multi-meter. While higher accuracy than competing choices, it is about the same price as talking thermometers offered for the blind, such as my wife, for health monitoring and cooking. We bought one of the last, crude, talking voltmeters from Radio Shack for under $100 and added an AWS temp to analog for my wife to do cooking.

I wish that Omega or someone would carry out my long term wish list of a simple serial interface (say 4 wire RJ11) to a speech module that would carry the display to voice and provide that interface on many different instruments (windspeed, ph, control parameters) putting the bare minimum in the instruments and the complexity of speech in the speech module.
I hope your sales are significant enough for you to keep it on the market. I shall mention it to appropriate users.


Contact Mike Firth